Last weekend it was iPhone 5 displays, now it's iPad 4 displays, and just as before, we have a sensational headline attributed to a couple of anonymous sources, with only the most superficial context and analysis provided far, far below in the body. This time, according to Reuters, production of iPad 4 displays at Sharp is being kept at levels only sufficient to keep the line running. However:
A source at Samsung Display, however, said there had not been any significant change in its panel business with Apple, which has been steadily reducing panel purchases from the South Korean firm.
A person who is familiar with the situation at LG Display said iPad screen production in the current quarter had fallen from the previous quarter ending in December, mainly due to weak seasonal demand that is typical after the busy year-end holiday sales period.
So, even if Sharp production is being halted, Samsung and LG still sound like they're full steam ahead. If panel production in general is merely being re-prioritized towards a higher mix of iPad mini and lower mix of iPad 4, or if quantities made by one company or during one period were sufficient to cover what would have been handled by Sharp during this period, or if any other factor is at play, isn't really investigated.
When a spokesperson from Sharp was asking about the drastic change in retina display production, they declined to comment stating that they don't make statements about their supply chain or production levels.
Again, production rumors, both correct and incorrect have plagued Apple for years. Now, however, in a more competitive, more skittish market, they're garnering more attention, and carrying more weight, than ever before.
Apple announces their traditionally big Q1 numbers at the end of January. Expect the rumors to get crazier before then.